H. Douglas Sessoms was Professor Emeritus, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He was Chair for 28 years and taught there for 44 years. A native of Wilmington, North Carolina, he received his baccalaureate degree from UNC-CH (1953), his Master’s from the University of Illinois (1954), and his doctorate from New York University (1959).
As an educator and scholar, he authored or edited more than a dozen texts and 150 articles and monographs. Dr. Sessoms has served the park and recreation movement in several capacities: locally, as chair of the Chapel Hill Park and Recreation Commission; regionally, as president of the North Carolina Recreation and Park Society; and consultant to the North Carolina Recreation Commission; nationally, as president of the Society of Park and Recreation Educators, the Academy of Leisure Sciences, and the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration.
He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of NRPA, consultant to the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission, chair of the NRPA/AALR Council on Accreditation, and chair of the NRPA Certification Examination Committee.
He is the recipient of the NRPA Literary Award and Distinguished Professional Award, the AALR J. B. Nash Scholar Lecture Award, the Charles K Brightbill Award, the Harold D. Meyer Award, the SPRE Distinguished Fellow Award, the North Carolina Recreation and Park Society Fellow Award, and is a founding member of the Academy of Leisure Sciences.